Kristofer Orth, AIA, LEED AP
Kristofer Orth, AIA, LEED AP

Kristofer was promoted to Principal in 2012, following 14 years of working at Design Alliance, beginning as a summer intern. Kristofer has developed strong expertise in a large variety of project types and sizes.

What are you likely to be doing on Friday after a good week at Design Alliance?
Friday evenings have become family movie night at our house. My children, Olivia and Aiden usually select the movie. My wife Susan picks up the movie from the Red Box, and I am usually involved in preparing or carrying out our supper. We end up eating in the living room while watching the movie together and then we have some popcorn.

Do you play a musical instrument?
I play the saxophone. I started on the alto sax in 5th grade. In Jr. High I played baritone sax in concert band because we needed more low sound. I dabbled in Jazz Band on the tenor sax throughout high school, and occasionally played a soprano sax solo at church. While in high school I was asked to play the small bass drum in marching band for one season. My freshman year at Iowa State I played in the Football Marching Band, Basketball and Hockey Pep Bands. Today I enjoy playing in the Ankeny Community Band.

What part of your job gives you the most personal satisfaction?
I really enjoy the creative process of envisioning three dimensional space on paper and in the computer and then experiencing that space as a built environment. Walking through those spaces, even years after they have been completed, feels a little bit like being a proud parent. My hope is the clients and building users get as much joy out of using the space as I had in helping to create the space for them.

What was the first career you thought you would go into as a child?
As a young child I spent a lot of time on my uncle’s dairy farm. My grandparents also lived on an acreage with livestock. So, from my earliest memories I wanted to be a farmer. I was helping drive tractors in the fields, on my uncle’s lap, before I was in school, and I was driving them on my own before I could ride a bicycle. I had a full collection of 1/16 scale farm toys in my basement that I re-enacted every facet of a farming operation. I have the privilege of being married to a farmer’s daughter, so now it is my hobby to spend time there helping build fences, doing field work, hauling grain, and driving the combine.